By: Jude Kouassi
Kwame Aidoo, also known as Kwame Write is a Ivorian-Ghanian multimodal artist, who specializes in video artistry, music, writing, installations and poetry. He was born in Ande, Ivory Coast which is near Abidjan in the mid 1980s and he grew up in Tema, Ghana which is right outside Accra, the capital city. Growing up in the 90s, the golden age of hip hop, Kwame was very interested in the art. In in interview he described how in Tema, his home city, the culture is more laid back, with many of the youth interested in dance, music, and other art forms. This didn’t stop him from attending science school though. He credits his mothers tribe, Ashanti, to his interest in creative musical mediums. The Ashanti people were known for their history of expansion, art and science. He also credits being the only boy of 4 children, to his interest in the feminist movement in Ghana. In his music you notice that he raps in multiple languages sometimes. At first, this was a shock to me because I was confused as to why he would purposely create music that listeners would have trouble understanding. After a while I realized that his music is more about openness and accepting all cultures and languages, even if you don’t understand them. I loved this. I think it encapsulates the essence of what rap music should be about. Bringing people together, and there’s no better way to do it than to strip the layers of music down to just the flow and the beat. This exposes that regardless of what is being said, rap music can be enjoyable. Kwame in his song, Nfie Nan Biaa he raps, “police bribes, fraud religions” meanings aside, this line alone struck me because of how clear cut he said it. Culturally, religion is very seldom spoken of in a negative pretense, but in this song Kwame went straight for it and I respect that. In this song he was describing his critiques of the way Ghana works, from the policing, to the stronghold religion has on its citizens. He even takes it back to colonialism, where he dives into how Britains soldiers have affected his country. All in all, Kwame Write is extremely talented, and I found myself in awe of the various art forms he uses to express himself. Not only does he speak consciously of the political aspect of Western Africa, but he never fails to assure us of the beauty that lies in our people.